2008 Audi Sportscar Experience: Drive the Audi R8 for a day

Audi today announced the launch of its 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience at the Audi Forum Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in California. The program gives you hands-on driving experience using a variety of vehicles from Audi”s R, RS and S categories. And yes you can get behind the steering wheel of an R8, but you’ll have to cash out quite a few dollars to do so.

The track at Infineon Raceway offers 160-foot elevation changes, challenging corners and has been described by many as a smaller Nurburgring. Sounds fun.

Pricing starts at $695 for half-day progoram with Audi’s ‘S’ models including the S4, new S5 and the S8. Audi R8 packages start at $1,895 for a one-day program and $3,495 for a two day program.

Click through for the press release for more pricing and program details.

Press Release:

Audi Launches the 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience

“¢ Program based at Audi Forum Sonoma in Northern California
“¢ Special half-day program added for drivers to test all new Audi “S” models
“¢ Experience designed and executed with strategic partner Emotive

SONOMA, Calif., April 29, 2008 ““ Audi of America, Inc. today announced the launch of the 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience based at the Audi Forum Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in California.  Created by Audi and its strategic partner, Emotive, the Audi Sportscar Experience is a hands-on driving experience designed especially for performance car enthusiasts ““ consumers who love to drive and experience exceptionally engineered vehicles.  The 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience will feature the new Audi R8 sportscar and the Audi RS 4 high-performance sedan.

The Audi Sportscar Experience features a special half-day program allowing drivers to experience the true performance of Audi”s newest “S” models — including the sporty S4, the new and powerful S5 coupe, and the luxurious and commanding 450-horsepower S8.  Additionally, participants will have access to highly-acclaimed, limited-volume new products from Audi.

“This program was developed on the pillars of the Audi brand ““ performance and technology,” said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer, Audi of America.  “The Audi Sportcar Experience allows participants to test and sharpen their driving skills and push our cars in a controlled environment.  There is no better way to demonstrate the foundation of this company than behind the wheel and on the track.”

The Audi Sportscar Experience operates year-round from the Audi Forum Sonoma, located trackside at Turn 1 of Infineon Raceway in beautiful Sonoma Valley.  Using a variety of vehicles from among the Audi R, RS, and S model lines, the Audi Sportscar Experience takes drivers through a rigorous, behind-the-wheel instructional driving program at one of the most exciting racing circuits in the world.  With its 160-foot elevation changes, challenging corners and breathtaking scenery, the 2.5-mile Infineon course has been aptly described as a small Nurburgring.

“We”ve created an unmatched experience for avid car enthusiasts,” said Chip Pankow, president of Emotive Group.  “We”ll help drivers develop the skills necessary to extract optimal performance from these exceptionally engineered vehicles on a real speedway ““ all set in the beautiful locale of Sonoma”s world-class wine country.”

The Audi Sportscar Experience includes both one- and two-day programs. A complete schedule of events can be found at www.audidrivingexperience.com.  Programs include:

RS 4 One-Day Program
Bred from motorsport dominance, the 2008 Audi RS 4 delivers a blend of exceptional luxury and pulse-pounding performance. The one-day program is designed to develop driving fundamentals, including braking, accident avoidance, car control and slalom.  Drivers develop their skills in a controlled manner and put themselves to the test on the slalom course. ($1,295)

RS 4 Two-Day Program
Building on the foundation from the one-day program, the two-day program adds track lapping on Infineon Raceway, Northern California”s premier speedway.  Drivers will test the remarkable capabilities of the RS 4 while racing on one of the most exciting tracks in the world ““ just like a race car driver! ($2,495)

R8 One-Day Program
The amazing Audi R8 sports car was just named the 2008 World Performance Car of the Year at the 2008 New York Auto Show.  The race-ready R8 epitomizes Audi”s quest for perfection and is the industry leader in innovation, technology, design and performance.  Drivers will utilize the R8 to hone their driving skills on the paddock and then take the R8 where it really wants to be ““ on the 2.52-mile road racing course at Infineon Raceway.  ($1,895)

R8 Two-Day Program
This program also builds on the essentials of the one-day program and incorporates more track time in the R8.  Progressive sessions in the R8 ensure that drivers will responsibly approach the limits of the R8 at Infineon Raceway.  Drivers will enjoy ample seat time and instruction from professional drivers who are experts in their fields.  ($3,495)

S Model Half-Day Introductory Program
“S” denotes sport in the world of Audi.  In the S-Model Half-Day Introductory Program, drivers will get a taste for racing in the S4, the new S5, and the 450-bhp S8. This program covers the fundamentals of driving followed by laps on the speedway.  The experience culminates in a handling course competition where drivers can compete in the team category and for individual best time.  ($695)